Darkness At the Edge of Town

October 20, 2014
9 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Makes 1 drink
Author Notes

This summer I found myself being asked to come up with a lot of beer cocktails -- the summer of the beer cocktail, I guess -- including some for an event put on by Deschutes Brewery. I came up with this cocktail specifically for use with their Black Butte Porter, but I think it would work with many different porter-style beers. The beer is basically used here as sort of a stand-in for vermouth and bitters in a spin-off of a classic Negroni. —fiveandspice

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Fiveandspice knows a thing or two about cocktails -- she and her husband own a distillery in Minnesota!
WHAT: A beer cocktail that’s kind of like a shandy, kind of like a Negroni, and kind of crazy.
HOW: Stir equal parts gin (fiveandspice's distillery's gin is great, but you can also use Tanqueray) and Aperol with ice, strain into a glass, then top with porter and a squeeze of orange juice. Prepare to be amazed.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This is a drink that left us scratching our heads. WHY do gin, Aperol, and porter beer go well together? With a couple more sips, we stopped being confused and surrendered to this strange, wonderful, and boozy combination. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 ounce gin -- a nice herbal one (I use Vikre Distillery Cedar)
  • 1 ounce Aperol
  • 4 ounces chilled porter-style beer
  • orange wedge
  1. Stir the gin and Aperol with ice until chilled but not fully diluted (about 30 seconds, depending on the size of your ice cubes), strain into a glass, top with porter, and squeeze in the orange wedge.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Cristina Sciarra
    Cristina Sciarra
  • anotherfoodieblogger
  • Kukla
  • foxeslovelemons
  • inpatskitchen

17 Reviews

cpc June 12, 2022
This sounds both disgusting and intriguing. I'm definitely going to have to try it since I like all those ingredients individually, maybe I will like them together.

Cristina S. July 2, 2015
This is the best name for a drink I've ever heard.
anotherfoodieblogger November 8, 2014
Aww shucks Emily, it would have been nice to see Deschutes Brewery Black Butte Porter in the photos. I live in Bend, I could have sent some! Hands down I'm voting for this one, though! I'll take a beer cocktail over any other cocktail any day.
fiveandspice November 8, 2014
Awww shucks right back atcha. I love beer cocktails too. So fun to play with! And, I loved working with Deschutes, they were great. Next time we'll have to get the F52 team to try it with the Black Butte Porter :).
Kukla November 7, 2014
Congratulations on being a finalist Emily! This cocktail sounds wonderful!
Good luck!
fiveandspice November 8, 2014
Thank you so much Kukla! You're so kind.
foxeslovelemons November 6, 2014
I knew this would be a finalist as soon as I saw it. It's just so.....strange, but in a really good way, it seems. Congrats, fiveandspice!
fiveandspice November 6, 2014
Thanks FLL! Even I was surprised when I first tried it and it actually tasted good, really good. Anyway, I cannot wait to give your meyer lemon bourbon smash a try as soon as we can get meyer lemons out here in the sticks (they're only available at our grocery store for about a month in the year). :)
foxeslovelemons November 7, 2014
Haha, that's OK. I'm a purist when it comes to Meyers. Even though they just started being available year-round in my grocery store, I only let myself buy them when they *should* be in season! Then I go crazy for that one month or so :)
inpatskitchen November 6, 2014
So honored to be standing with you! Congratulations! Brilliant cocktail!
fiveandspice November 6, 2014
LIKEWISE!!!!! <3
QueenSashy November 6, 2014
I never thought of using beer in a cocktail, until about a week ago -- a friend made me try her favorite combo (coke and lager). And it was amazing! I cannot wait to try this one...
fiveandspice November 6, 2014
Aren't beer cocktails interesting?! I never would have gotten into them, except we had to do a series of events that were all about beer cocktails. So, I did a lot of experimenting and really fell in love with the complexity of flavors - fruitiness, bitterness, malt... - that beer can add to a cocktail.
gingerroot November 6, 2014
Yipeee! Congrats, Em! I discovered MollyandBrandon's Campari Shandy this summer and it opened a whole new world of beer cocktails for me. This sounds delicious and I can't wait to try it. xx
Ps. I'm also thrilled you enjoyed my drink!
fiveandspice November 6, 2014
Thank you Jenny! We LOVED your twist on a Manhattan, and I'm sure we'll be making it a lot this winter. (I also felt really cool because I already had all the ingredients on hand :)
mrslarkin October 25, 2014
I think I'm going to crown you the "Queen of Cocktails." This sounds lovely, 5&s.
fiveandspice November 6, 2014
Thanks Liz! It was a surprising discovery, but we love it.